Meleka, 2 travellers and a baby

11 Dec

“Two of the greatest gifts we can give our children are roots and wings” Walt Streightiff.

When Jack was  6 weeks old, and I was pretty much healed from the delivery (another great reason to have natural birth!), we took a day trip to Meleka, which is about 1 hour from our house. Meleka is one of Malayasia’s busiest tourist destinations as people flock to see the Unesco World Heritage Site, granted for its living cultural heritage. Old buildings lie sunken behind modern renovations in Chinatown, dilapidated Malay homes rest on the river’s edge, and quaint colonial homes have opened their lacy curtains for people to peek into the past. It’s an aromatic experience of the cultural mosaic as street restaurants sell Portuguese, Indian, Malay and Chinese food.

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Initially we were carrying Jack is his carrier but, at 6 weeks, his head wasn’t strong enough to sit upright for that long so eventually we resorted to the pram. Pushing the pram along the narrow side walk of a busy touristy street was a little tricky but we kept the pram covered so that Jack couldn’t see out and others couldn’t see in. Malaysians are annoying loving of little children, touching, kissing, wanting to hold. We’ve learnt that if we keep him covered or in the sling, we can prevent the flurry of strangers who ask if they can hold him. Jack, however, did not like staring at the white blanket which covers his pram and he managed to wiggle his body and turn his head so that he could stare out the back of the pram behind his shoulder.

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We found a small coffee shop full of character where everyone had a drink to keep hydration levels up. Baden had coffee, I had juice and Jack had milk. I covered up the boob, and fed Jack in public, for the first time. It ended up being a bit of a mess with milk all over Jack’s face, down my pants, in my bra and all over the cover. I knew I’d have to master this technique if I planned to be a travelling momma.

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The rest of the day we spent walking and walking and walking. We explored gorgeous little shops in Chinatown, the colonial town square, saw an old ship and stumbled across a residential area which looked similar to Springhill. We managed to get ourselves onto the wrong side of the river and had to walk very far to get to the bridge crossing by which time everyone was exhausted, I think. With the need to sit down, we took a final tour on boat down the river. Jack had hardly slept all day so we thought we’d find a quiet restaurant where we could have a meal and let Jack sleep. We chose an expensive restaurant, paying for the silence more than the food and ordered our drinks. At which time, the rickshaws arrived – guady and loud. Their huge speakers blared doof-doof music and they came in waves so each time Jack was starting to fall asleep, a new gang arrived, trailing ‘Gangnum Style’ behind them. It was time to give the travellers a rest.

We drank our over-priced juices and ate the overpriced herb bread. Then left. We were out of practice.

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The Dowies in Asia

2 travellers and a baby

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